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James Murphy, Arcade Fire Collaborating, Manager Confirms

James Murphy Win Butler
Kevin Winter / Alberto E. Rodriguez, Getty Images

While James Murphy is “just friends” with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, it looks like his relationship with Arcade Fire has blossomed into something more. The former LCD Soundsystem mastermind recently dismissed reports that he was producing YYY’s next album — “I was just fussing around [with it],” he revealed. “I didn’t make their album. They’re just friends.” — but Murphy has taken on a more significant role with Arcade Fire as they plug away at the follow-up to their Grammy-winning 2010 album ‘The Suburbs,’ contributing to a few tunes bound for the as-yet-untitled disc.

“Arcade Fire [are working on their next] record right now,” AF manager Scott Rodger says in the latest issue of the trade journal Music Week. “Murphy [is working] on three or so songs, plus Markus Davis who is a long-time collaborator. They write too many songs — that’s a good problem to have. There’s around 35 songs with Arcade Fire, two albums’-worth for sure.”

Murphy had been tentatively tipped to produce either Arcade Fire’s ‘Neon Bible’ or ‘The Suburbs’ record, but both bands’ busy schedules made it impossible. Even now that Murphy likely has a little more free time to make it happen following last year’s dissolution of LCD Soundsytem, he’s still not quite ready to assume the title of producer. “We don’t work like that,” he told the Huffington Post earlier this year. “But also they don’t need a producer, in a way. They produce themselves.”

Instead, Murphy sees his role as more of a partner — similar to the collaboration process that LCD used when they were recording their own albums with guests. “When I was making my record, any number of people came and spent a couple weeks or a week hanging out and being involved in the process,” he explained. LCD Soundsystem released their final album, ‘This Is Happening,’ in 2010.

Regardless of Murphy’s role, Arcade Fire drummer Jeremy Gara has said that the band are working “pretty much full time” on their fourth album, but don’t expect them to set any sort of deadline for when we can expect the disc to surface. “We’re under no pressure to do anything under any sort of schedule,” he told Ottawa radio station CKCU 93.1 FM a few months back.

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